> # Welcome to GameGrinOS v1.01 > # How can I help you? > # Press ` again to close
Hello… | Log in or sign up
City of Beats Review

City of Beats Review

City of Beats is a twin-stick roguelite shooter developed by Torched Hill and published by Freedom Games. The set-up is pretty standard: An A.I. called Zeitgeber has taken over parts of the city, and you’ve been sent to destroy it. You’ll need to take out three orbs that keep its control over an area before going out and killing it yourself. Good luck; you’ll need it. While the story isn’t all that special, the writing and dialogue are actually quite amusing. There are small bits of humour throughout the game, from the hover car that takes you to the levels admonishing you for not using power attacks to a sentient exploding barrel who will kill you over blowing up its brethren in the Beacon (the hub, a safe zone with no other ways to kill you). I like it, it made me pause to read and chuckle. It’s roguelite, and unless you’re the developers of Hades, it won’t be too important, but the effort is appreciated.

The graphics are good, if rather minimalistic, going for a neon-drenched cyberpunk style. Your player character and NPCs are lovingly modelled, but the main forces you’ll be killing are often just geometric shapes with glowing bits on them. Even the bosses at the end of each area are just low poly orbs. I didn’t mind it all that much, it uses the style well and it keeps things clear, which is good when you’re dodging a lot of bullets and lasers aimed at you. That being said, the levels themselves rarely look different. Sure, there are different layouts to fight in, but it’s always on neon-lit rooftops with a different sky colour depending on the area you’re on.

20230531102651 1

However, City of Beats is nothing without its music where everything moves to the beat – Enemy attacks, enemy movements, your bullets, even explosions! Firing adds that last piece to the soundtrack, which is really cool and encourages you to play aggressively, but not too much or the groove is ruined by your mistakes. If you’ve played Hi-Fi Rush, you’ll find yourself in familiar territory. While the type of music isn’t my preferred genre, it’s really good for what the game is going for, and it fits in well with the types of levels you’ll be running through. It feels zen-like, which is good, as the more you play, the more used to the rhythm you get. If you’re skilled enough, you’re flowing in and out of battle, and the music only stops when everything is dead.

Speaking of battles, let’s get into how a run goes. You travel along a map full of encounters and events, and can choose how you get through it. Would you like to get defensive upgrades or earn some money to spend on temporary buffs? Decisions, decisions. Once you choose a path, get ready to fight. You can move, dodge, shoot, use a power attack, and unleash an overcharge that enhances your attacks. Sounds simple, but that’s where weapon mods and augments come into play, where on a given run, you modify and power up your character to increase your chances of survival; they’re pretty interesting. Each one is separated into Power, Defense, Efficiency, and Accuracy, and you can level them up to be better. It works well, although that one useless upgrade makes me suspect there’s something more to it.

20230531103258 1

Ah, I forgot to mention weapon choices. There are four weapons you can choose from before you head out, which have their own upgrades, styles of play, and beats that change the songs that play during your run. However, at the time of review, there were only three weapons available, with one of them to be implemented in a future update, which is really, really weird. Why show me the option when it’s not in the game, and why wasn’t it included in the game already if this was the full release? This isn’t a complaint, but I found it strange that it wasn’t ready.

Once you get yourself killed, you go back to the Beacon, where you change your equipment and spend green points you picked up on your run on meta-upgrades. I found it really interesting how they handled meta-upgrades, however. There is a limit to how many points you can spend on them, which increases as you get to new areas. That puts a stop to your potential and keeps you from getting too OP before the game will allow you. This really puts an emphasis on how you build your character, at least in the early parts of the game. You can always reset your skills at any time for a price, so it pays to make smart decisions and think about your playstyle. I love it, and it also means you can’t just beat the game through stats alone. Your ability to play is what is more important.

20230531110336 1Onto technical performance. It ran well, with it clocking in with a maximum of 200 FPS… which was odd. A quick look at the settings revealed that there was no way to limit FPS, which could lead to some lower-powered computers to suffer. I also ran into a serious problem just getting the game to work. Initially, every time I started the game, my PC’s monitor would suddenly shut down, and the fans would go into overdrive. I had no idea what went wrong, but uninstalling and reinstalling the game fixed it, and it runs perfectly now. It did crash on start-up the next day, though.

Despite my grievances with the game and how it works with my PC, City of Beats is recommended for roguelite and music fans. The gameplay is well done, and the music goes so well with the action that I practically go into a zen-like state while shooting and dodging my way to victory.

8.50/10 8½

City of Beats (Reviewed on Windows)

This game is great, with minimal or no negatives.

City of Beats is thoroughly recommended, with its fun gameplay that flows with the music you make. There are a few design decisions that made me raise my eyebrow, but it ultimately is an enjoyable experience.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Dylan Pamintuan

Dylan Pamintuan

Staff Writer

An Australian-born guy whose trying to show everyone why games are awesome.

Share this: